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Continuing our series on each Finalist category, next up is Medical Devices.
CEO: Dr. Michael J. O’Leary
About the Product: GreatDef captures the highest quality medical images and video in the most secure fashion at a fraction of the cost of current legacy systems. GreatDef represents the bright future of modern medical imagery.
Why did you apply to MIP? CONNECT’s superb track record of identifying, cultivating, and promoting San Diego’s most innovative ideas and solutions makes the MIP acknowledgement a highly sought-after recognition.
What is the toughest obstacle you have had to face? On the technology side, awaiting the “sweet spot” when emerging digital imaging software meets the exponential growth of inexpensive computer processing power, encased in a highly secure yet easy to deploy security blanket.
On the personal side, finding the time and skillsets required to grow our creative solution into a bona-fide business among the giants of the healthcare marketplace.
What is one of your favorite parts of being a startup? The opportunity to translate a creative solution for an existing medical challenge into a viable medical product. Working in the open, creative entrepreneurial environment and discovering helpful entities like CONNECT and the SDSU Zahn Center.
CEO: Douglas C. Bryant
About the Product: Sofia 2 is a compact, benchtop analyzer that uses advanced fluorescence detection to rapidly test for diseases such as influenza and respiratory syncytial virus. Sofia 2 combines an easy-to-use interface, customizable settings, and Virena wireless connectivity to provide accurate, objective and automated results in as few as three minutes.
What is the toughest obstacle you have had to face? Because Quidel was traditionally a company focused on developing innovative assays rather than instruments, I don’t think we could have anticipated the challenges involved with developing both hardware and software from the ground up. The team was tasked with taking what had previously required an external router for a reliable connection and integrating it into Sofia 2. The result was a reduced instrument footprint over the original Sofia and the ability to provide customers with secure, remote instrument management and real-time infectious disease mapping.
How did you come up with the idea for your product? Following the success of the first Sofia with over 17,000 instruments placed, Quidel recognized the need to stay ahead of the increasingly competitive market for rapid infectious disease testing. While there were many potential solutions for physician offices and hospitals to choose from, each of them required tradeoffs. Quidel set out to develop Sofia 2 to build on what the original Sofia started so that customers no longer had to worry about trading accurate results and data management for speed or cost.
Why did you apply to MIP? CONNECT and MIP have proven to have an incredible presence when it comes to innovation here in San Diego. Since the goal for the Sofia 2 project was to develop a highly innovative solution for a market that’s ever at risk of becoming commoditized, CONNECT provided the perfect platform for showcasing the unique features that Sofia 2 brings to rapid infectious disease testing.
CEO, Founder & Director: William J. Mazzei, MD
About the Product: The ReDe Mask continuously monitors breathing in patients that are sedated. It alerts the provider when breathing has become inadequate and when breathing stops.
How did you come up with the idea for your product? Reports of deaths during medical procedures in which the patient was over sedated demonstrated the need for a better respiratory monitor.
What is the toughest obstacle you have had to face? Obtaining FDA approval for this class II device was a challenge. Since it is so novel, a new medical device classification was needed.
What is one of your favorite parts of being a startup? The excitement of developing a new type of device and the chance to make a big improvement in health care.
Who is someone who believed in you/your product? Jonathan Benumof MD, the world’s foremost authority on respiratory issues that lead to morbidity or mortality in patients who are anesthetized or sedated.